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Why Almost Everyone Loves "Bowing Down" To Beyoncé

BEYONCETo be clear, this is not really about Beyoncé’s new album. It’s not about her incorporation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s feminist TED Talk on the track “Flawless.” It’s not about her anti-marketing strategy. And it’s definitely not about judging whether the music is overrated or not.

Because beyond any of the numerous aspects of the album’s production that Beyoncé had under her control “ the probably insane non-disclosure agreements regarding the album’s release, the video treatments, the feminist lyrics, the genre-spanning production “ what is just as fascinating about the new album are Beyoncé’s fans reactions to it, and the repeated hyperbole that they use when they talk about her, especially in contrast to their own lives.

It isn’t news to anybody that Beyoncé’s fans elevate her to the level of royalty, and, most of the time, to the level of a goddess. It’s become just as commonplace for the casual fan to refer to Beyoncé as “Queen Bey” as it has for some of the press’ most respected music critics. But if you comb through enough tweets and status updates about Beyoncé, you’ll see another interesting trend: that, in their veneration, her fans repeatedly tend to openly highlight their own supposed personal insignificance and lack of achievement to the pop queen’s grandiose accomplishments.

Here are some anonymous Beyoncé-related samples from the recent Twitter archives:

“I can barely make my bed in the morning. @beyonce is on a world tour and puts out an album and a shit ton of videos. what am i doing?”

“Beyoncé made more money in the past hour than I have in my whole life.”

“I don’t want to sound like a crazy stan, but listening to Beyonce’s new album is why we were put on this earth”

“Let it sink in that 2-year-old Blue Ivy Carter already has a verse on a Beyonce song, once again proving she is more powerful than us all.”

A recent Buzzfeed review of Beyonce’s new album takes a cursory stab at dissecting this phenomenon: Even casual fans approach her as a sort of deity, in large part because thinking of her as a superhuman being is part of what makes her music and performances so much fun.”
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MGMT Seek Fans To Play Giant Cowbell On Stage

Calling all cowbell enthusiasts! During their upcoming fall tour, MGMT will be enlisting the help of their fan base to ring an enormous cowbell during their track “Your Life Is A Lie.” The band will be searching for the perfect cowbell extraordinaire in Detroit, Louisville, Charlotte, Durham, Richmond, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wallingford, Atlanta, and Washington DC. Think you’ve got what it takes? Enter to win right here, and check out the band performing “Your Life Is A Lie” (cowbell included) on a recent Letterman below.

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Cassadee Pope Posts Video Message To Hey Monday Fans

Before winning The Voice, Cassadee Pope was not your average reality show wannabe, slaving away at 9-5 job in hopes of one day realizing her dreams. In fact, by the time she auditioned for the show, she had already toured the globe multiple times with her band Hey Monday, and in doing so built a following that many believe helped her win her the televised singing competition. Unfortunately, that same victory has required Cassadee to leave her work with Hey Monday behind, but in a new video message released this morning the singer has reassured fans their longtime support has not been forgotten.

Appearing in a short video message posted to her official YouTube channel earlier this week, Pope reached out to fans of Hey Monday in hopes of winning them over to her new efforts. Pope introduces herself in the clip shortly before thanking everyone for their continued support of Hey Monday over the years. Then, in a move surely concocted by her reps, Pope asks those same fans to give her new solo album a chance. You can view the video below.

The long-awaited solo album from Pope is scheduled to hit stores this October. Unlike her Hey Monday efforts, the recordings found on this album will lean towards a country-pop sound, which Pope hopes will help take her career to the next level. Click here to for a taste of the new material. (more…)

Like Fan Like Band: How Fanbase Can Affect Artist Reputation

How many times have you written off a band or an artist because of their fans? I’m sure many of us are either unwilling to admit it or simply have not realized this subconscious process of ruling out, but it happens all the time.

Regardless of the quality of the music, it is very easy for potential new listeners to be deterred because of the reputation created by a band’s fanbase. For example, what comes to mind when I mention the name Slipknot? For many of you—especially those who are not very familiar with them—my guess is that you thought of the types of people you might associate with that band; mean, dumb, meathead psychos (Sorry, Maggots. No offense!). However, while this may be true for some of their fans, this doesn’t mean you should curse the band all together. The problem is that too many people apply this stigma to the band, assuming the music is unsophisticated, dumb, mindless, or perhaps untalented. However, those who are familiar with and open to the idea of Slipknot, fan or not, know that they are a very hardworking group of extremely talented musicians. It might not be your cup of tea, but at least give them that.

Okay, so maybe the guys in Slipknot bring it upon themselves with their terrifying masks and generally offensive demeanor, but how about Tool? They have a similar demographic as Slipknot, but many listeners might find their sound to be a little “easier to swallow.” However, they often get lumped in with the same sort of crowd that makes outsiders assume the music is terrible, while in fact, tool has written some of the most interesting, progressive, and influential songs in nu metal.

Too often do people overlook a band just because of the fanbase they seem to attract. Of course, that’s not totally unreasonable. If you do not like or do not relate to a certain type of person, and that type of person likes a certain type of music, then by the transitive property, it seems safe to assume that you will probably dislike that type of music too. However, this isn’t always the case. We all have “guilty pleasures,” but why are they guilty? Because we’re embarrassed to admit when we like something outside of our own self-ascribed reputation? Are we that proud of our “taste?” (more…)

Improving Your Community: 3 Ways To Build A Local Following

Most bands who are just starting out often ask themselves the same question: “How do we build a local following?” And a good majority of experienced musicians would respond succinctly with, “Just play as many shows as possible,” which is certainly good advice. But an artist doesn’t just want fans. An artist wants a community, people who can get behind the music and the message.  This is the artist’s challenge. Luckily, there are some strategies that can really help get the locals on board (assuming the music doesn’t totally suck). Here are three good ways for you, the artist, to build a local following:

1.) Make a lot of friends (particularly within your genre/scene)
Okay, I know this seems like a crude piece of advice, but whoever tells you that being a musician is not a popularity contest is wrong if your goal is to have more fans. Even if you weren’t the most popular kid in high school, it helps to be outgoing. Seems obvious, but if you’re not already a charismatic socialite, this can be a challenge. Generally, every artist’s first few shows are attended by supportive friends. Later on, you may have some work friends, classmates, or even family members who come to a show every once in a while. However, if you get in with a certain crowd that you know is into your type of music, they will back you 100 percent.  This will provide you with an organic foundation for your fanbase since these people know you not just as musicians but as friends, and they can vouch for you when inviting other friends to come to your shows. Ultimately, the more friends you have that are into your music, the more personal your connection to your fanbase.  I know you like to think your music can speak for itself (and perhaps it can), but it helps to have some loyal comrades to help promote you. Consider it a sort of “street team.” Networking is just as much about social activity as it is about business. So stop playing video games, get off Facebook, and go meet some real people! Go to parties! Go to shows! Be present.

2.) Befriend other local bands with loyal fans
Don’t have many friends? Have trouble meeting new people? Well then one of the best things you can do is form strong ties with other local bands within your scene who already have somewhat of a strong, loyal following. Hang out, play shows together, sing on each other’s songs”before you know it, their fans will become your fans too. People love seeing bands work together; it’s all part of developing a musical community. The music scene is not just about one band, and it’s certainly not about rivalry. It’s about the whole movement, and the more you act like a team player, the more likely you are to gain real respect. In order to keep these types of connections going, always be sure to return favors and do what you can to help your fellow bands whenever possible. Too often connections are lost and bridges burned simply due to lack of reciprocation. Become a part of the collective musical effort, and your fans will do the same.

3.) Book and run your own shows with other locals
This is a path that more bands should be take advantage of, but don’t because of the extra work involved in booking your own shows. However, if you’re willing to put in the effort, be sure to talk to the right venues and the right people as you play “promoter.” Band-run shows are the best for everyone involved. There’s no middle man taking a cut of ticket sales, so all of the money (if any) goes back to the bands. When you are in charge, the show runs the way you want it to. One of the main advantages here is that both bands and fans will be more inclined to come to you for information and opportunities in the future. Bands are more likely to want to work with you because you hold a valuable key to the scene. This is a great way to make connections on a higher level, a level that shows how responsible and proactive you are (assuming you do a good job). When you start consistently booking solid shows, you and your band will be recognized as true team players in the community, making fans more inclined to support your work and spread the word. People love supporting a DIY effort

These are just a few ways in which you can easily build a community around your music. It has nothing to do with being a “rock star” and everything to do with being a hard-working, responsible, and dependable individual. People can see right through superficiality, so the best thing you can do is be true to yourself and to others, and lend a helping hand to your local music scene. If you do, others will respond with appreciation and respect. Now get out there and make some moves!

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Win A Fender Guitar And Amp By Judging The Intel “Canada Superstars” Competition!

Are you constantly on the lookout for the latest rising music stars? Are your headphones attached to your ears at all times for fear of missing a beat on the latest upcoming talent? If this sounds like you, and you’re a Canadian resident, then OurStage and the Intel® Canada Superstars Competition need your help!

Intel® “Canada is looking for their next superstar, but they cannot do it without your vote in the seven competition channels. In return for your efforts, you’ll be entered alongside other OurStage users to win an incredible prize package, with one Grand Prize winner receiving a Fender® Modern Player Telecaster Plus along with a Fender® Mustang II 40 Watt Guitar Combo Amp!

You only have until September 30, to judge and be entered to win, so what are you waiting for? Get judging!

Click here to view the competition FAQs.

Click here to view the official rules.

 

JUDGE The Intel® "Canada Superstars" Competition And WIN A Fender Guitar & Amp!

Resident Canadians, this is your chance to judge the Intel® “Canada Superstars” Competition for a chance to win some awesome prizes! We have seven different channels that all need judging, but only you ” the fans ” can help us determine who the winners will be. If you do, you will be eligible for our sweepstakes in which one Grand Prize Winner will receive a Fender® Modern Player Telecaster Plus Guitar and a Fender® Mustang II 40 Watt Guitar Combo Amp ” a retail value of $615.24. So what are you waiting for? Click here to select a channel and start judging now!

Who Has The Sickest Riffs? You Decide In The Guitar Player "Take The Lead" Competition

Hey there, fans! We need your help finding the best OurStage shredder. There are tons of talented guitarists competing in the Guitar Player “Take The Lead” Competition, but it is up to YOU to tune in and judge for the ultimate king of noodling. The winner will be featured in an upcoming issue of Guitar Player magazine and will also win a year’s supply of Ernie Ball strings and accessories! So what are you waiting for? Crank the volume up to 11, and click here to vote for your favorite OurStage guitar solo!

Help Intel Discover Canada's Superstar Talent And Win Big!

Intel is seeking the first ever batch of Canadian superstars and they need your help!

Starting today, you can judge in the Intel® Canadian Superstars Competition to decide which up-and-coming talent rises to the top across seven music channels, including electronic, singer-songwriter, urban, pop, rock,
country and Francophone (for tracks sung in French).

In addition to the opportunity to discover great new music, judging in this competition also enters you for a chance to win a fantastic prize pack that includes:

  • (1) Fender® Modern PlayerTelecaster® Plus
  • (1) Fender® Mustang II 40 Watt Guitar Combo Amp

Why wait any longer? Click here and start listening now!

Win An Audition To Perform At Capital Hoedown 2011!

Want a chance to audition for a performance at one of Canada’s premiere country music festivals with Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and Kenny Chesney? In May, OurStage and Capital Hoedown are giving OurStage Canadian country artists the opportunity to do just that. By competing in the Capital Hoedown Showdown Competition on OurStage, you could be one of three finalists to audition on July 28, 2011 for a performance on the MAIN STAGE at Capital Hoedown 2011! Enter your original country song by June 24, 2011 and you’ll be on your way to rocking out with the stars.

OurStage country music FANS will also have a chance to win big in May. Judge in the Capital Hoedown Showdown Competition by July 11, 2011. You can help one undiscovered country act score the performance of a lifetime AND win two 3-day passes to the Capital Hoedown festival! Save some of those hard earned dollars for the beer tent, we’ve got your tickets right here.